Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. IPC-E-11-09, Order No. 32252

June 17, 2011

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712



Idaho Power proposes to buy energy from Montana hydro project


The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking comment through July 5 on an Idaho Power Company application to buy power from a 4.7-megawatt hydroelectric project in Montana.


Under the proposed sales agreement, Idaho Power would buy energy generated by the Clark Canyon hydroelectric project near Dillon in southwest Montana. The proposed agreement is for 20 years with a scheduled operation date of March 31, 2013. 


The Clark Canyon project is a qualifying facility (QF) under the provisions of the federal Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act, or PURPA. Passed in 1978, PURPA encourages the development of renewable energy technologies as alternatives to burning fossil fuels or building new power plants. PURPA requires electric utilities to buy power produced from QFs at a rate published by the commission or negotiated between by the QF and the utility.   The published rate is to be equal to the cost the purchasing utility avoids if it would have had to generate the power itself or buy it from another source. The commission must ensure the avoided-cost rate is reasonable because 100 percent of the amount utilities pay QFs is included in customer rates.  


The published rate included in the proposed agreement begins at $67.32 per megawatt-hour in 2013 and increases to $128.26 per MWh in 2032. 


The commission plans to handle this request in a modified procedure that uses written comments rather than conducting a hearing, unless customer comments demonstrate a need for a public hearing. Comments are accepted through July 5 via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at and clicking on "Comments & Questions About a Case." Fill in the case number (IPC-E-11-09) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.


A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, is available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.